How to Naturally Control Bed Bugs? Bed bugs are known to be plentiful breeders and it’s a tough job controlling them from taking over your bed. Most homeowners are unaware of this problem until the effects manifest, like skin rashes and allergic symptoms.
Bed bugs do not spread specific diseases, but they can cause extreme discomfort to everyone in the family. They can quickly infest, but they are one of the more difficult pests to kill.
If you want a spotless result, you can find cleaning services that offer bed bug treatment in almost everywhere. While there are firms that offer bed bug treatment services, some people prefer doing it on their own because it’s cheaper.
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Do DIY Treatments Work?
DIY is fun and practical for many reasons. For one thing, you get to discover more uses and benefits of natural substances. In addition, it is free of charge and you can do it anytime you want.
The disadvantage is that you cannot guarantee that these blood sucking pests will be entirely eradicated from your household. Watching out for this kind of pest in the first place will aid the bed bug problem.
However, even if doing it yourself doesn’t clear things out entirely, it will significantly reduce the infestation. Take action on your bed bug issues as soon as possible because they proliferate fast and will damage your beddings, furniture and your family’s health.
While calling a professional bed bug killer is still the best choice, you can do some remedies to ease the problem and reduce the work to be done. Be sure to read and understand all the instructions carefully, particularly when using harmful chemicals and if you have kids at home.
The most common places where bed bugs live is where people and pet sleep. You need to take note of these places because they have the highest chance of being infected.
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After locating the infested site, find out all the possible remedies you can do and decide which one is the most effective and practical method to use.
Control Bed Bugs Naturally
1. Steam Cleaning
Steam cleaning is probably one of the most preferred methods of getting rid of bed bugs. It requires the use of high temperature and is proven effective in killing bed bugs alongside their eggs.
Scientists have found that these tiny creatures cannot survive temperatures above 140 degrees Fahrenheit. It destroys the existing bugs and controls their multiplication before they overpower and distress you and your household even more.
In addition, hot steam can penetrate deep through the fabric, small cracks, crevices and corners of your home. As a result, it increases your chances of eradicating this kind of insect from your bedroom and household.
Because it uses only water, it destroys bed bugs without any harmful effects on the environment and is very cheap as well. Before using the steamer, make sure that you have vacuumed every area you suspect to be infected by bed bugs.
Thoroughly steam these areas and all the other parts where bed bugs might be hiding. Also, you should be cautious of the fabrics getting too damp or completely wet, as it reduces the amount of steam produced as well as damage them.
You can use a heavy-duty steamer if you want to experience better results. Hot washing the beddings and the mattress can also be an effective way of getting rid of bed bugs because none of them will be able to survive the heat.
You need to be careful though, since moving the infected fabrics from one room to another can cause worse contamination. Be mindful of the hamper that you use and make sure to disinfect it as well.
If the issue persists, repeat the process twice or thrice a week, depending on how much you need it.
2. Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is an organic pesticide made from the fossil remains of tiny aquatic organisms. It is used in controlling pests and protecting stored products from them.
You don’t need to worry about getting exposed to harmful chemicals, as Diatomaceous Earth harms neither the Earth nor humans. Having a 90% mortality rate for bed bugs, it is the best option if you want to ensure the eradication of these nighttime pests.
Some people say that it traps and tears up the bed bugs, while others believe it dehydrates the bug by absorbing the fats and oil from the insect.
It takes approximately 10 days for the DE to kill all the bed bugs, so it is not your best option if you want immediate results. However, this method requires less effort and time – you will only have to vacuum away all the dead insects when it’s done.
It can be easily sprinkled on hard-to-reach spots like cracks and crevices, making the process more convenient.
To start the process, make sure that your linens are washed – preferably hot washed. Also, vacuum your home thoroughly and sprinkle the pesticide in areas you suspect to be infected.
Make sure that you are wearing a mask because the pesticide dust might be inhaled and is dangerous to your lungs. Vacuum the areas again in a few days and repeat the process until you are confident that every corner of your home is bed bug-free.
Some homeowners also use boric powder and baking powder. However, boric powder is a dangerous substance and poisoning from this chemical can be acute.
Boric powder is poisonous if someone swallows a product that contains it, or you keep using it inside your house and expose yourself to it repeatedly. That is why this powder is not really recommended.
Baking powder is much safer than boric powder, but it does not guarantee a full force effect on bed bugs because it is usually designed as a disinfectant from bacteria and viruses. For these reasons, Diatomaceous Earth remains the best option for killing bed bugs out of the three.
3. Cover Your Pillows and Mattresses
An effective way of keeping bed bugs away is to keep all your pillows and mattresses covered completely. This needs to be done in order for the bugs to stop manifesting in them. Bugs like to stay in warm and humid places.
Pillows and mattresses often retain some of your body heat when you are sleeping or laying down. Hence, this creates a very suitable living environment for the bugs to thrive in.
It’s important to keep the covering on for at least 1 year so that any bugs inside will die off over time. Once this occurs, you can take it off, clean it properly and replace it so that the bugs do not have a chance to infest.
These covers are usually made from a well-knitted material that has very small openings within the fibers. These small openings allow air to pass through for temperature regulation. However, it keeps bigger particles out (or permanently in) such as bugs, or in some cases even liquids.
This ensures that your mattresses don’t become a home to bed bugs while not heating up too much. The fabrics that are often used for these kinds of linings include cotton, silk, polyester and even bamboo.
Investing in pillow and mattress covers are not only an advantage to keeping the bed bugs away. In fact, there are often high-quality covers that come with other great features, such as being waterproof and stain-proof.
4. Vacuum Every Nook and Cranny
Bugs are small and can be tough to find with the naked eye, so vacuuming your whole living space as well as your furniture and belongings is a great way to keep bugs from multiplying in your home.
Bed bugs are tough and adaptable creatures, so they will abandon their original homes if it’s necessary to their survival. That means vacuuming every single thing in your sight, including the mattress and pillow covers.
Sometimes, bed bugs will also move to more unconventional homes such as in electrical appliances, which may be more difficult to clean once manifested. That is why you need to make sure to check those too.
Bugs tend to favor dark, damp places, so if there are any areas such as these in your house, make sure to vacuum them regularly. It may seem as if the area is uninhabited, but chances are, that area already has insect eggs ready to hatch.
Consistency is key.
Vacuuming once every one or two months will not do you much good. Many bugs reproduce in a span of days, so vacuuming once every week would be the most efficient way to keep your home safe and sanitary.
You must also keep in mind to dispose of the vacuum bag properly when you are finished cleaning the area. There is a likely chance that the bugs will re-enter your home if they are not disposed of properly, most preferably outside.
DIY Control Options
There are many different options that you can turn to when your home is suddenly infested with some unwanted guests. Below are some natural sprays that you can make at home and apply immediately.
Since most of these sprays are made from natural ingredients, many of these plants can be grown in your own homes. Doing so will further reduce the chances of your home being infested by insects.
However, if the infestation seems serious, it’s probably best to call in some professional exterminators and let them handle the problem. Also, keep in mind that every natural ingredient usually has some kind of side effect, which you may react in different ways to.
Bed bugs are also very persistent creatures, so this means you will have to keep up the cleaning process for a while before being able to completely eradicate all them. This also doesn’t mean that once your home is bug-free, it won’t happen again.
Constant cleanliness and dryness is necessary to reduce the chances of these bugs coming back.
5. Citronella Spray
Citronella spray is derived from a plant familiarly known as Lemongrass and is very popular among insecticides. It has a distinct smell that does not appeal to bed bugs, reducing the amount of bed bug incidents drastically as a result.
This spray operates by applying high-acidity levels of liquid onto a surface where the bed bugs are residing, which is harmful to these bugs and their eggs.
A certain level of acidity will actually harm their exoskeletons as well as the outer egg layer, which leads to the elimination of bed bugs. An advantage of using Citronella spray is that it is also effective when repelling mosquitoes, ticks and chiggers.
An important note to keep in mind is that this oil may cause allergies in certain individuals. You are also advised to refrain from inhaling the oil, as it can be damaging to the lungs.
How To Use
- First, you must obtain the citronella or lemongrass in oil form.
- Mix together a small bowl of water and about 10 drops of the citronella oil.
- Place the mixture into a spray bottle and close tightly.
- Shake the bottle well.
- Spray the oil onto any affected areas or places that are close to previously affected areas, as the bugs may have moved.
6. Tea Tree Oil Spray
Tea tree oils have a chemical component that manages to break down some specific layers of cells, which in turn leads to fatality in many bugs. Due to this property, tea tree oil is highly regarded in the world of natural insecticides and is often used in many homes.
An advantage of using a tea tree oil spray is that you can apply it in small nooks and crannies, which are harder to clean out with a vacuum. Consequently, these also happen to be the favorite hiding places of these little creatures.
A gentle reminder:
Be careful when handling the oil.
Large concentrations of this oil coming into direct contact with skin has proven to be a cause for irritation or swelling. That is why the use of gloves when making the spray is advised. Tea tree oil is also especially dangerous for cats, as they are severely sensitive to this natural oil.
Cat owners are advised to stay far, far away from this spray and to consider using other essential oils instead.
How To Use
- Add 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil to 50ml of water.
- Pour mixture into a spray container and shake well.
- Spray generously into nooks and crannies that you think may be infested with bed bugs.
- Repeat daily until there are no more sightings of bed bugs.
7. Lavender Oil
Lavender oil has been used to repel bugs and insects for a long time over the course of history. In fact, they were used to protect linen from moths in the olden days. Lavender oil is another great natural alternative when trying to get rid of bed bugs.
This oil has a cytotoxin property, which basically means that it is toxic to specific types of cells. Fortunately for us, bugs are not resistant to this property. Lavender oil also has a distinct smell that bed bugs really do not like and may contribute to the exterminating process.
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The good news is that Lavender and its products have very minor side effects in humans as well as pets when compared to many other essential oils. This means that for anyone who is rather unsure on what kind of DIY spray they should make, the Lavender spray is definitely a safe bet.
How To Use
There are 3 types of usages when using Lavender Oil to make an insecticide. They are as follows:
- Add 15-20 drops of Lavender oil, soap, or powder to 50ml of water.
- Mix well and pour into a spray container to use as a spray.
- Spray on infested areas and points of entry where insects may try to re-enter your home.
- Apply fresh flowers or leaves from a Lavender plant in the infested area.
- Remember to change the leaves or flowers regularly once they are no longer fresh.
- Continue to replace the leaves and/or flowers until infestation has reduced.
- Combine 15 drops of lavender and peppermint oil into a spray container.
- Fill with water.
- Shake well and apply to infected areas.
Although bed bug infestations can be irritating, there are many ways to prevent getting these infestations, some of which are fairly simple. Most of these are basic housekeeping procedures that will get rid of the bugs but will also keep your home in a much cleaner state.
Furthermore, even if your home is already infested with bed bugs, there are many different natural alternatives that you can do at home on your own to get rid of the infestation.
Most of these natural alternatives will not only keep the bed bugs away, but also other insects such as mosquitoes. The key to getting rid of these persistent bugs is to have discipline in constantly applying the remedies and maintaining good hygiene in general.
Lastly, remember: Professionals are available for a reason.
If your bed bug issue has become too large or too difficult to handle, the professionals will have the right equipment and resources to restore your home back to its clean state.
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